Dr. Adrian Guta is an Assistant Professor in the School of Social Work at the University of Windsor. He is currently co-leading a multi-study program of research examining the health care needs of people living with HIV who are actively substance using (e.g., using illicit drugs or drinking hazardously) during hospital admissions, with the goal of developing strategies to better support their ability to remain engaged in care, and to promote harm reduction approaches within hospitals. This program of research began during Dr. Guta’s UWW Fellowship. Dr. Guta regularly collaborates with community and clinical partners to design research studies which meet the needs of patients and service users. His research is supported by funding from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, and the National Institutes of Drug Abuse.
Originally from Brazil, Andre has worked in HIV education and prevention for the Portuguese-speaking community in Toronto and support services for HIV+ youth at the AIDS Committee of Toronto. At the same time, he was Co-Chair of the Committee for Accessible AIDS Treatment (CAAT) for 2 years. His passion for research led Andre to join UWW as a Community Fellow where he then became involved in many research projects for gay men’s sexual health. In the past 2 years Andre has working as community member at the Cruise Lab at University of Toronto.
Andre is also passionate about peer engagement and GIPA/MIPA. In 2012 he led the Speakers Bureau and Poz Prevention programs at PWA until he started working with peer engagement at Fife House. Currently Andre is the Manager of Community Programs, Volunteers and Peer Engagement at Fife House and the co-chair of the Poz Prevention Working Group at the GMSH. Andre strives to empower peers to get involved in peer support work and for the meaningful participation of PHAs in programs and research.
Ayden Scheim is a PhD candidate, Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation Scholar, and Vanier Canada Graduate Scholar in Epidemiology & Biostatistics at Western University in London, Canada. In October 2017, he began a Canadian Institutes of Health Research Postdoctoral Fellowship in Global Public Health at the University of California, San Diego. Ayden has been working as a researcher and consultant on transgender health, human rights, and HIV for 15 years. Through his UWW Fellowship, Ayden gained experience in research on injection drug use, leading to a series of projects throughout his doctoral program (including acting as Site PI for an OHTN-led feasibility study of supervised injection in London) and ultimately to his postdoctoral research project focused on injection drug use among sexual and gender minorities. He can be found online at www.aydenscheim.com.
Dr. Chris Sanders was a UWW Generation 2 fellow (2010-11). Since then, he completed a doctorate in sociology at York University (2013) and a postdoctoral fellowship in Public Health HIV Prevention Research at the Medical College of Wisconsin (2015). Currently, Dr. Sanders is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at Lakehead University in Ontario. His research investigates ways that healthcare practices are affected by external social institutions, in particular criminal justice and legislative forces. Also, since coming to LU he has begun to research the experience of aging with HIV among PHAs in rural areas. The UWW fellowship provided a lasting network of professional connections (and dear friends) that continue to enrich his career development and outlook on HIV research.
Colin began working in the HIV/AIDS sector in 2010 as a community educator with a local ASO in Kingston, Ontario. Since then his research has centered on community HIV education, HIV criminalization, and representations of HIV/AIDS in mainstream media. He is currently a Doctoral candidate in Sociology at York University. His dissertation research is an ethnographic study of how news stories about HIV criminal cases in Canada are produced.
Dr. Daniel Grace is an Assistant Professor at the University of Toronto, Dalla Lana School of Public Health, Social and Behavioural Health Sciences. Daniel is a sociologist who conducts research related to the social determinants of health, HIV and STI prevention strategies, and the sexual health of gay men. Daniel completed his postdoctoral research at the University of British Columbia and the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine. He is currently working on multiple qualitative and mixed methods studies funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) in Toronto, Vancouver, and Montreal in the areas of health care access, HIV and STI prevention, and mental health for diverse communities of gay men. These studies include a focus on conducting qualitative analysis to understand how HIV prevention strategies and biomedical technologies are used and understood by gay men in their everyday social and sexual lives.
Daniel was part of the first and fifth generation of UWW Fellows. He credits UWW for creating both incredible learning opportunities while he was a student and a sustained network of mentors and colleagues that have continued to support him in his research as an Assistant Professor.
Nathan is an Assistant Professor in the School of Public Health and Social Policy at the University of Victoria and a Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research Scholar. He is an affiliated researcher with the Community-Based Research Centre for Gay Men’s Health, the BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS and the Centre for Addictions Research of BC. Drawing on his UWW Fellowship training, his program of research employs mixed methods interdisciplinary community-based research with gay, bisexual, and queer cis and trans men and people living with HIV/AIDS. Nathan now teaches online courses in the blended Masters of Public Health program at the University of Victoria, drawing on strategies of and experiences with UWW. Nathan is grateful to live, work, and play as a visitor on the traditional territory of the WS’ANEC’ (Saanich), Lkwungen (Songhees), and Wyomilth (Esquimalt) peoples of the Coast Salish Nation.
Nicole R. Greenspan is a Clinical Research Specialist with the Applied Health Research Centre at the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute at St Michael’s Hospital in Toronto. She earned her PhD in Health Services Research from the University of Toronto. She completed a CIHR-funded postdoctoral fellowship with the Memorial University of Newfoundland, conducting ethnographies of HIV clinics in Newfoundland and Manitoba. Participating in the UWW Fellowship program helped connect her to a network of HIV researchers that fostered her graduate studies and developed her scholarly potential. Her research has focused on programs and services offered by community-based AIDS organizations, monitoring and evaluation, and ethical issues in providing medical care for people living with HIV. In her research, she draws on her experience from holding multiple professional roles at AIDS service organizations, government funders, and research institutions.
Rusty is a PhD candidate and a course instructor at the Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work, University of Toronto. His doctoral work (www.pnpstudy.com) focuses on the health and well-being of substance-using gay, bisexual, as well as two-spirit and queer men in Toronto, with a particular focus on men who are part of the Party-n-Play subculture. He first entered the HIV field ten years ago by volunteering at AIDS Service Organizations in Toronto. The UWW training provided me with an amazing platform to collaborate with scholars from diverse perspectives in the area of gay men’s sexual health. Rusty is currently involved in community-based HIV/AIDS research and HIV education with gay and bisexual men as well as people who use drugs. His publications address various issues, including HIV prevention with gay and bisexual men, the use of online technologies in HIV prevention, global public health, HCV care and prevention, as well as harm reduction practice and policy.
I first started working in sexual health during my undergraduate studies at Carleton University. Since then, I have worked as a researcher, educator, and health promoter in Kigali, Iqaluit, Guelph, and Vancouver with a focus on reducing social inequities. Now, I am the Executive Director at YouthCO HIV & Hep C Society, a youth-driven organization that uses peer support and education to reduce stigma. I wear many hats at YouthCO, including supporting programs by-and-for youth living with HIV, fostering youth leadership among staff and volunteers, and stewarding YouthCO’s values and approaches to sexual health and harm reduction. This summer, I’m taking time off to see my favourite animal, beluga whales, in Canada’s St. Lawrence River. Once I’m back, I’ll be moving into my UWW fellowship program with YouthCO’s amazing Indigenous team! Together, we will engage a group of Indigenous youth to steer our project activities, offer monthly programming that blends traditional activities and knowledge with sexual health and harm reduction education, and implement impactful, manageable, youth-led evaluation.
Sarah Switzer is an adult educator, community artist, and community-based researcher living in Toronto. Inspired by almost a decade of working at the intersections of community arts, peer programming, and HIV and Harm Reduction, her doctoral research uses photovoice (a method where participants are given cameras to identify and analyze issues in their communities) to explore how different stakeholders understand community engagement and participation in the context of HIV and harm reduction programming. She is committed to the principles of CBR-research done in partnership with community members and community-based organizations. She believes strongly in the collective and imaginative power of working collaboratively for social justice. Equity, accessibility and collaboration are pivotal principles in her work. She is a doctoral candidate at the Faculty of Environmental Studies at York University.
UWW helped Sarah connect and network with a diverse group of HIV researchers across the country, and also supported her financially (and professionally) in continuing her collaborative work with young people re-imagining self-determination and decision-making in harm reduction programming. Sarah is looking forward to finishing up her doctoral work in 2018!
Dr. Shamara Baidoobonso is an epidemiologist who specializes in using evidence to inform decision-making, services, programs, and policies within the health sector. Drawing on her background in community-based research and knowledge and skills gained through Universities Without Walls, she successfully integrates health equity, social justice, and public engagement into evidence-based practice. Her work touches on HIV prevention and care for African, Caribbean and Black (ACB) people, as well as cancer screening for all Ontarians. Shamara works at Cancer Care Ontario where she leads a team that conducts evidence syntheses to inform decisions about the design and modification of Ontario’s organized cancer screening programs. Additionally, she is the nominated epidemiologist for the AC Study, which is a second-generation HIV surveillance system for ACB Ontarians. Outside of work, she is a member of the review panel for the Toronto Urban Health Fund, a member of the Research Committee for the African and Caribbean Council on HIV/AIDS in Ontario, and she volunteers with a charitable organization that helps people who are street-involved. In recognition of her professional and volunteer work, Shamara has received multiple scholarships and awards, including a Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal. She is also newly married.